International sustainability organisation EarthCheck has awarded the Langham Auckland platinum certification. The hotel is the first in the Australasia region to gain the certification and the only company in New Zealand to achieve the platinum level. Former Prime Minister Sir John Key unveiled a plaque at a celebratory afternoon tea to mark the occasion.
EarthCheck is the world’s leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for travel and tourism, and has been operating since 1987.
"We are constantly looking at ways to do things better and minimise the hotel's impact,” said sustainability manager Helene Pacalin. “We are investigating the option of our own water bottling plant for example, so we can eradicate single use plastic water bottles and we are also investigating the potential of investing in solar power. The office spaces are about to become bin-less because we know this has proved to reduce waste."
Sustainability initiatives by the hotel include roof-top bee hives to help maintain local bee populations and pollinate city flora. The Langham Auckland is also planning on partnering with 42Below with a view to using leftover citrus slices for use in cocktails and soap.
Managing director Franz Mascarenhas said that the certification proved that sustainable luxury is possible.
"Sustainability is good for everyone – our employees, our guests and the environment. It is also important for New Zealand tourism because it positions ourselves as a premium eco-destination."